Brazil has opened Latin America’s elephant sanctuary to provide a home for an estimated 50 circus animals from across the region.
The first residents of the elephant sanctuary are Guida and Maia, both over 40 years old.
They will be provided with veterinary care and live out their lives in forested areas with pastures.
US-based Global Sanctuary for Elephants bought the land to give the animals a refuge as zoos in the region close and more laws prohibit the use of animals in circuses.
Both elephants are thought to have come from Thailand, where they were illegally taken to be used in circus, Brazil’s G1 website reports.
The Global Sanctuary for Elephants bought the land of 2,800 acres, for $1 million to be paid over five years.
The area is located in the western state of Mato Grosso.
The first phase of the project will host up to six animals.
The elephant sanctuary will not be open for visitors.